When this issue was first broached I was unsure what to think about it. I could see both sides of the issue pretty well but I couldn't come up with an opinion that would satisfy all parties involved. But then I read a letter to the editor in the Hartford Courant, and I can't remember who it is by so I can't cite it but I thought I would give credit where it is due.
Although it is true that a mosque has stayed in that spot for years, it has now become a problem that the people behind it want to expand it massively into a community center. Now, some of it's defenders say that the goal behind doing this is to promote cross-cultural and cross-religious understanding. Which of course is a noble goal which all of us can get behind.
But here is the reasoning that the letter used: On one side are those Muslims and their allies who feel like the community center should be built. But on the other side are families of the victims of 9/11 who feel uncomfortable with that decision. The reality is that those people's losses are real and their feelings are real too. Calling them "bigots" and "Islamophobes" is that not the way that you deal with those feelings, as I believe Matt touched upon.
So if the goal of this endeavor is to create better understanding and tolerance, then why should we expect the victims of terror to be the ones to "man up"? It really is not very much to ask that the community center be built somewhere else, if the alternative is forcing the families of terror victims to accept something towards which they really are not very comfortable.
Although some on the HP try to make it so, this issue is not about religious freedom. It's about mutual respect. It always has been, I thought. And mutual respect should not have to start with the victims of violence until they are ready. And yes, if it were any other group in that situation I would feel the same way.
I know this is still a complicated issue and I am not going to dig in on this view. But this is the way I currently feel about it.